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This is Home Now

Time 0:02:21


My grade nine gym teacher said I was one of the fastest girls she has seen in years. When she encouraged me to join the soccer team, my anxiety started building almost instantly. All I could think was what my mom would think. I knew from my older sister that my mom was not accepting of girls joining teams. My mom’s thought of coming to Canada was to leave the violence in Somalia for a safer place temporarily. Little did she know 20 years later she would still be in Canada…

I was determined to get my mom to allow me to join the team. I was ready to answer all the questions she would ask. But my mom was not willing to hear my side, all she said was “No end of discussion”... With anger building up inside, my eyes filled with tears, and I just locked myself in my room. I was most frustrated that I was not given the chance that my brother’s got to play sports as long as they kept good grades.

I had a passion for sports, so I made the decision for myself that I would play even if it meant it was behind my mom’s back. It was hard to always have to think of excuses for where I was during practice and games, but the satisfaction of being on the soccer field made up for it.

Everything changed the day my mom came to school to pick me up. I was in the middle of a scrimmage soccer game. I noticed her at the door. For a moment it felt like it was only her and me in the gym. I felt a rush of nerves as I tried to avoid eye contact, but at the same time I wanted to show her my skills. To my surprise after the game she complimented on how well I did. This time she listened to my points. She agreed that I could play as long as it does not get in between my studies. My mom was able to witness me fulfill that promise during my graduation. I won many awards for keeping honour roll throughout high school, but more importantly for being in councils and SPORTS.

Today my mom supports and encourages all my brothers and sisters to participate in all their interests. It may have taken 20 years and many more personal experiences to help my mom realize we have two cultures now, two homes. We could adapt to this country that was once supposed to be a temporary relocation. And that doesn’t make Somalia any less of our home.

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